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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Why does everyone else get all the big breaks?

Daf Yomi Bava Basra 34

King Shaul was devastated.  After failing to heed the word of Hashem to destroy Amalek, the prophet Shmuel informed him that the kingdom would be taken away from his family and granted to someone more worthy.  After a time, it became clear that his successor would be David the son of Yishai.

From that day on, King Shaul would stop at nothing to get rid of David.  He spent years in hot pursuit of the young king-to-be.  But every time he drew near, David somehow eluded Shaul.  Many a night, David would lie awake thinking, ‘Why does he despise me so?  What did I ever do to him?’ 

Why indeed was Shaul so intent on eradicating his son-in-law, David?

Two people were once quarreling over a boat. This one said: It is mine, and the other one said: It is mine. One of them came to court and said: Seize it until I am able to bring witnesses that it is mine. 
Do we seize it or do we not seize it? Rav Huna says: We seize it. Rav Yehuda says: We do not seize it.
Rashbam explains: Rav Yehuda says we do not seize it, for perhaps the claimant requesting the impounding of the boat really has no witnesses and is a liar.  All he truly wants is to make his friend lose out, because he calculates that once the boat is seized, subsequently they will not release it to either party.

Why does this scoundrel want the court to impound the boat?  For only one reason: once the court seizes the boat, it will be much more difficult for his disputant to get it released.  In other words, if he can’t have a boat, nobody should have a boat. 

And that’s why King Shaul couldn’t stand David.  It wasn’t as if Hashem removed the kingdom from him and the entire nation of Israel.  He could have lived with that.  No, Hashem took it away from him and gave it to someone else.  That was unbearable for Shaul.  Consequently, he spent the remainder of his life trying to make sure that if he couldn’t be king, nobody should be king.

If Hashem hasn’t opened up His treasure house of blessing to you in a certain area of life, don’t take it out on someone else!  Everyone has their share of blessing and Hashem apportions His bounty in different ways to different people.  If you see someone enjoying blessing that has been denied thus far to you, don’t be jealous. Rejoice in their good fortune!

Maybe you were seeking a promotion at work which you didn’t get.  You then hear that the fellow in the next cubicle is being considered.  Don’t start going around the office talking about why your neighbor isn’t worthy.  Take pride in his achievements!  That may be challenging, but the more you accept the will of Heaven, the more you unlock the Divine blessing and allow it to shower down upon everyone, including yourself!

Maybe you haven’t merited to find your bashert (intended) yet.  Every time you hear someone else announce their engagement your heart sinks deeper and deeper.  Until it gets to the point that you’re no longer interested in attending engagement parties and weddings.  You need to rise above!  It’s time to wholeheartedly rejoice in others’ simcha!  Their good fortune does not preclude Heaven’s blessing to you.  On the contrary, the more you bless Heaven, the more you will receive!

Maybe you’ve been trying to have children.  You have friends who are up to their fourth and fifth children.  Why should you bother going to the bris?  You’re only going to feel uncomfortable.  As it is, you’ve grown apart from them, as they celebrate kids’ birthday parties and play-dates.  It’s time to rejoice with Heaven!  As challenging as that may be, the more you bless Hashem, the closer you will get to the great bounty He has in store for you!

Your friend’s gain is not your loss.  The Almighty has an unlimited storehouse of bounty.  May you rejoice in the good fortune of others and may Heaven open up wide and shower you with blessing!